How Auto Transport Is Priced

Several factors go into auto transport pricing. There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Below is a list of the most common factors affecting prices. 


Auto transport pricing starts with the pickup and drop off locations. Moving a vehicle between major hubs, such as Los Angeles, Miami and New York, offers plenty of carrier options. For more remote areas, the options are fewer, which is reflected in the transport price.


How easily the pickup and drop off locations can be accessed is also factor in determining car transport prices. If either of these locations are off the beaten path, it will influence the transport cost. The further away from the main route of the carrier, the more expensive it will be. 

Vehicle Size

How heavy your vehicle is and how much space it requires in the carrier affects pricing. Empty your vehicle of all personal belongings and remove all aftermarket additions such as radios, CD players, and luggage or ski racks prior to shipping. In addition to reducing the weight of your vehicle, another reason to remove these items is that they are typically not covered under the auto transport company’s insurance policy. 

Condition of Vehicle

Is your vehicle operable? A non-running vehicle is more difficult to load and unload. Auto transport companies charge additional fees for vehicles that do not run.

Open Transport or Closed Transport

Closed transport is not as common as open transport; however, it offers a measure of protection against damage. Open transport exposes vehicles to the elements, and while damage is somewhat rare, in some cases – such as collector, vintage or luxury cars, the extra protection offered by having a vehicle fully enclosed is worth the additional cost.

Fuel Cost

Keep in mind that fluctuating gas prices influence auto transport pricing as well, and must be taken into consideration. 

Other factors, such as seasonality, can also impact auto transport pricing for certain routes. For instance, demand is higher in the winter for shipping a car from New York to Florida because of the “snowbirds” moving south. It’s important to do your research and ask questions before choosing an auto transport company.